A bundle of V.C. Summer bills meant to protect electric customers move forward

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A bundle of bills now head to the House floor after passing the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Tuesday.

The measures are meant to protect electric customers in South Carolina, after SCANA and Santee Cooper abandoned the V.C. Summer nuclear reactors project under construction in Fairfield County in July.

Here's a breakdown of the legislation making its way through the House:

  • H.4375 Ratemaking: Requires the utility to pay for debt obligations, interest payments and shutdown costs associated with VC Summer; Halts the 18% rate payment on SCE&G consumers’ bills; and Authorizes the PSC to implement a new interim rate that protects ratepayers by lowering costs and removing all VC Summer fees. This repeals the Base Load Review Act so far as future projects are concerned.
  • H.4376 Santee Cooper Reform: Ends current Board members’ terms; Creates qualifications similar to updated PSC standards; Requires new or revised electric rates go through the PSC; and Bans abandonment costs from being added to new rates.
  • H.4377 PSC Reform: Ends terms of current Commissioners; removes qualification exemptions and sets new criteria; and Requires Commissioners thoroughly question parties before making a decision
  • H.4378 Creation of Utility Oversight Committee: Replaces the PURC with a new 12-member board comprised of legislative and gubernatorial appointments.
  • H.4379 ORS Reform: Creates a Utilities Consumer Advocate; grants subpoena power to ORS and the Consumer Advocate; and Removes a utility’s financial integrity from ORS’s concerns.
  • H.4380 Ratepayer Refunds: Authorizes the PSC to require SCANA to issue refunds to the ratepayers.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee is discussing its own similar legislation.

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